Hydrophobia. That’s the fear of water. It seems silly to be afraid of something you need. Frankly, it’s not just silly, it’s deadly. Hydrophobia is a very dangerous disease in animals because it will drive the animal wild, causing it to bite and tear, because it knows it needs something. But it dreads the “something” it needs: a drink of water.
Forgivenessphobia. Okay, I made up that word. But I didn’t make up the condition. Too often people (you and me included at times) run around and take out our guilt over our own inadequacies on others. Too often we try to find satisfaction in the things of this world or the things that we do. Almost like we’re afraid to accept the one thing we need: forgiveness.
St. Augustine, early Christian theologian and philosopher, said it right: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” Don’t be afraid. Find rest today in Jesus’ words to you, the one thing you need today: “Your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5). He won that forgiveness and freedom for you when he gave his life for yours on the cross. He assured you by making you his child in your baptism. He gives you visible forgiveness in his body and blood in the Lord’s Supper. Every sin is gone.
Now don’t be afraid to accept the fact of what he earned for you: forgiveness.